Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arizona's new law

If I had any business with/in the state of Arizona, I would boycott them right now. The anti-immigration law passed there usurps federal powers and authorities, and is blatantly racist. The people there may feel justified frustration at the tide of illegal immigrants, but essentially requiring police officers to racially profile people who look like they might be Mexicans goes way too far to solve the problem. And it discriminates against a good number of legal immigrants and American citizens, who find themselves suddenly in the position of proving they belong where they belong.

The anti-immigrant movement generally is a cover for racism both blatant and subtle. Blatant, in that it appeals to depends on that sizeable sliver of America which is openly hostile to others based on the color of their skin; Subtle in that it also appeals to people who are feeling discomfort and fear related to the widely-reported lawlessness across the border.

The truth is, that America is stronger becuase of its immigrant populations, both "legal" and "illegal", and its multi-cultural identity is a huge strategic advantage in a globalized world. Unlike any other nation, the United States draws people from every other corner of the globe. That fact alone gives the lie to all those who talk in doom and gloom terms about America's future. The infusion of energy, cultural ties, youth and hope that these immigrants represent is priceless.

Focusing just on the most apparent costs of illegal immigration blinds many people to the benefits. Yes, there are some traffickers and criminals among them. Yes, there are costs to social services, from police to hospitals to schools. Yes, those costs should be shared by the federal government. But that certainly isn't the whole picture.

The long and short of it is, a lot of Americans just need to come to terms with our country's multi-cultural future, because we are already living in a multi-cultural present -- even if they refuse to admit it.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

If the people of arizona were truly serious about cleaning up the problem, they would instead institute very harsh penalties for people who hire illegal immigrants. If illegals knew there were few, if any jobs waiting for them across the border, they would go elsewhere. But know, this solution would hurt too many people in the wallet, so better to take it out on the destitute brown people.

-Marty

irene said...

I agree. We'll be in Arizona to see the Grand Canyon, but we'll try to buy all that we'll need in Utah and spend as little money as possible there (camping fees - oops). It seems like a lazy and opportunistic way to "fight crime". They'll reap what they sow - the cheap labour will move out of Arizona and the economy will tank.

Tdec31 said...

Americans are notorious for, when asked their heritage, of proudly listing off a bunch of countries other than the one they reside... I'm a third/eighth/sixteenth/quarter Polish, French, Spanish, German, Irish, African, etc...
But--- when others (Mexicans, Cubans, Canadians, (whoever!,) want to be Americans) people are up in arms about all these foreigners coming in and taking "our" jobs.

Where is the line drawn? How long to you have to reside in a country, or be a citizen, before you are "from" that nation? And what hypocrites are many Americans to tell others that they're not welcome when the doors were wide open for their ancestors.

Irene said...

Well said - the same hypocrites are here. It gets even more ridiculous here though - often the same people who accuse recent immigrants of being nothing but criminals brag about their ancestors being convicts!

Anonymous said...

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Bud said...

You should remember this: the immigration in and of itself is not Arizona's current problem. It is a set of problems far deeper than that and the U.S. Congress in all its corruption and weakness cannot handle it. Arizona may have come up with the wrong solution, but they need a solution besides a bunch of people screaming racism.

If you legalized drugs, half the problem would dissolve in a week. Is that a possibility?

Alice said...

Maybe we need to repeal NAFTA and WTO and institute FAIR trade practices instead. Starving, desparate people head where ever they need to in order to survive. There are sure alot of falsehoods circulating on the the "net".(Surprise!) Like un-documented workers are sending $40,000 a year or more back to their home land. HA! They would be hard put to make that much totally in 2 years. Their cheap labor is why they are hired!

Anonymous said...
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Heidi said...

I have to agree with Bud. Seeing as we're most likely moving to AZ in a year, I've been trying really hard to stay on top of this issue and read everything I can regarding it - including articles/editorials from people in Arizona. They are the ones living with the immigration issue on a day-to-day basis. I think it could truthfully be said that those of us who aren't there don't fully understand the enormous frustration and lack of federal help that Arizona is feeling. I agree that this was the wrong solution - and think Marty is right in that the true solution resides in dealing with employers who hire illegal immigrants - but I also completely understand the utter helplessness that Arizona police/politicians/citizens are feeling. I'm glad that certain words/phrases were changed and clarified after the law was passed, but I'm hopeful that a better solution will be found. With over 70% of the population of AZ supporting this law, it's obviously a problem that needs to be addressed and solved.

I don't think a boycott is the solution, however. I really, truly feel that we need to HELP the people of Arizona, not just cut them off. The lack of help/action from our government is what caused this whole mess.

scot s w said...

I'd be more inclinced to help the people of Arizona if they would take a few steps to unburden themselves of their racism.

There are a lot of Mexican-Americans in Arizona who have full rights as native-born citizens, and they are now going to be treated as suspects their entire lives.

This is the same state that refused, for a while, to recognize the federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.

Ibrahimblogs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ibrahimblogs said...

It is very important for everybody to understand that America has a multi-cultural present and a multi-cultural future. The U.S. draws people from every corner of the world and that has both pros and cons.

This is Ibrahim from Israeli Uncensored News